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A strange brew prior to Glasgow Film Festival opening night gala

Glasgow Film Festival blog: Thursday 18 February (Opening Night)

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Strange brew prior to Glasgow Film Festival opening night gala

List festival correspondent Paul Gallagher introduces the first of ten days of daily festival reports from the 2010 Glasgow Film Festival

Paul Gallacher

Paul Gallagher. Photo: Dan Mayers

I’m sitting in the GFT’s Café Cosmo, and there’s more than tea brewing. There’s a definite atmosphere, a sense that much is yet to come, a bit like that feeling you get at the end of every Harry Potter film. It’s not a ‘buzz’ yet; that will kick in once the Festival properly opens tonight, but right now it’s just nice - various GFF volunteers are wandering around looking purposeful (and I think I must be getting old, because they all look about 12), the Box Office has made its traditional move to the front door, and right behind me they’re unveiling a giant Festival banner. No sign of Cary Grant yet though, or even the life-size cut-out of him I saw at the press launch – surely it hasn’t been swiped already?

So I’m taking a moment to consider some of the prospective delights that the next 10 days are going to offer me, your humble blogging correspondent. My mission, as set by the powers that be at The List, is not to give a blow-by-blow account of my movie-watching adventures over the Fest, but rather to try and get to the heart of The GFF Experience. So while I will be watching movies, my priority in these blogs will be to report on all the other stuff – the gigs, the parties, catching up with exciting filmmakers, discovering which usher ended up in the lap of which respected broadsheet film critic – and hopefully to create some fun reading in the process. Tonight’s opening party is already shaping up to be a classic - I got a sneak peek of Cinema One earlier, which has had its very own dance floor installed, and the GFT foyer is currently littered with disco lights. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet is going to be in attendance too, and I’m hoping he’ll be busting some moves in the spirit of the physical comedy that pervades his film MicMacs – tonight’s opening movie. Since I’ve already seen the film, I’m going to sneak off to the Zombie Zombie event at Mono while everyone’s watching it, to see if these Parisian dudes can do much for me with their John Carpenter-inspired electro tunes.

Unlike bigger and more established affairs I won’t mention here – although one of them rhymes with Shmedinburgh – Glasgow Film Festival doesn’t segregate press and general audience members: there’s an overwhelmingly friendly spirit, meaning that no matter who you are, as soon as you step through the GFT doors, you feel like you’re right in the centre of the action. That’s the spirit I’m hoping to get the full flavour of over these next 10 days. If I’m still in one piece tomorrow morning, I’ll let you know how it goes.

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